Amazon Connect

>>Amazon Connect

Amazon Connect is Amazon’s AWS Call Center offering.  With the weight of Amazon behind it, the large AWS development community, and its different pricing model, it’s attracting a huge amount of attention, and has the potential of shaking up the industry.

But real world contact centers are complex and messy, and many an entrant into this space learned their lessons the hard way.  So, can Amazon Connect be used today to create a real contact center system that meets all of the operations needs, is supportable, and can adapt to the ever changing needs of the business?

In this series, we’ll find out.  We’ll take a sample call center modeled after a real customer of Biz Meets Tech, and attempt to build it using Amazon Connect.

The first post of the series can be found here.

Amazon Connect – Introducing Lightning

The video in this post shows a demo contact center system that I built.  Okay.  So what?  It’s a contact center system.  Seen it, done it, got the T-Shirt to prove it.

What if I said that it’s built using Amazon Connect, and demonstrates real world midsize enterprise functionality?  A little more interesting, maybe.

What if I told you that, after figuring out what we wanted the demo to be, that the implementation of EVERYTHING IN THE […]

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:00+00:00 January 19th, 2018|Call Center, Customer Care|Comments Off on Amazon Connect – Introducing Lightning

Amazon Connect – Sample Center Checkpoint

Checkpoint Time

This blog and the Amazon Connect series has been quiet over a few weeks. It’s not because I’ve abandoned my investigation. Quite the opposite, and in fact, I’ve completed the work. My investigation was based on attempting to build a call center that was a modeled after a moderately complex real world customer of mine. Mission accomplished, and much more. There are issues, though.

In the first investigation phase, I wanted to understand what it could do using only […]

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:00+00:00 December 16th, 2017|Customer Care|Comments Off on Amazon Connect – Sample Center Checkpoint

Amazon Connect – Customer Queue Treatment

In this installment, we’ll take a look at Amazon Connect customer queue treatment.  Put another way, we’ll look at what we can do for/to the customer when they are first placed into the queue, and while they’re waiting in queue.

While in queue, the customer experience is governed by the Customer Queue Flow you chose prior to transferring the call to the queue. 

Audio While In Queue

While they’re in the Customer […]

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:00+00:00 November 2nd, 2017|Call Center, Customer Care|Comments Off on Amazon Connect – Customer Queue Treatment

Amazon Connect – Queue Basics

We’ve covered the important aspects of call treatment in the IVR, and know everything we need to queue the call so it gets to the right agent.

Well, sort of.  Back when we laid out Our Sample Call Center, there was an item “Routing to queues based on a combination of DID, IVR selection and customer data dip”.  We’ve covered DID handling, IVR selection and customer data dip, but I think it could be pulled together better.  And we […]

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:01+00:00 October 23rd, 2017|Call Center, Customer Care|Comments Off on Amazon Connect – Queue Basics

Amazon Connect – Customer Input

Customers don’t really like entering information into an IVR, but you’ll probably need them to do it. Reasons to ask for customer input include:

  • To identify a customer, account, case/ticket number, etc.
  • To verify a customer (enter your PIN, date of birth, etc.)
  • To authorize a credit card for payment card without a human listening in
  • To enter a payment amount

Store Customer Input

The Store Customer Input block performs this function. The customer input is stored in a system variable, so you’ll […]

By | 2017-09-19T18:52:11+00:00 September 19th, 2017|Call Center, Customer Care|Comments Off on Amazon Connect – Customer Input

Amazon Connect – IVR Menus

In this post, I’ll cover building the core IVR menus. 

Before I go too far, I’d like to point you to my series on call center queues.  In the first two posts, I cover some of the thinking that I use when designing IVR menus (which, of course go hand in hand with the queues).  This stuff is critical, because your IVR will affect your wait times and/or your staffing levels.  

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:01+00:00 September 12th, 2017|Call Center, Customer Care|Comments Off on Amazon Connect – IVR Menus

Amazon Connect – Dialed Numbers (DIDs)

In this post, we’ll tackle DIDs from our sample call center work list, found here.  Doesn’t sound like a big deal, does it? Read on…

What are DIDs?

DID stands for “Direct Inward Dial”.  For our purposes, consider this to be the number(s) that the customer calls to reach your center.  If you want more background, and crave technical accuracy, see the Wikipedia article.

Within Amazon Connect, the DID is referred to as a “Dialed Number”.

DID I Just Do That?

Amazon Connect supports […]

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:01+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Call Center, Customer Care|Comments Off on Amazon Connect – Dialed Numbers (DIDs)

Amazon Connect – Contact Flows

Time to get busy.  We’ll be starting with Contact Flows, but before we do, I want to make one last comment on initial setup, which I covered in this post.  This post will be on the tech side, so if you’re not IT oriented or you won’t be hands on building the IVR or Queues, see you next time…

Initial Setup Redux

Since initial setup was, well, trivial, I wanted to check what was lost by removing all the flexibility. […]

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:01+00:00 August 25th, 2017|Call Center, Customer Care|Comments Off on Amazon Connect – Contact Flows

Amazon Connect – Building a Sample Call Center

So, our first experience with Amazon Connect went smoother than I ever imagined. Everything is perfect?

Reality Check

Umm, no. Discovered some of the warts when I was doing the screen recording that appeared in the last post. Nothing major, mind you, just the kind of things that belie its newness.

Like, don’t close the agent panel. It will let you.

I had the call arrival notification message disappear on me. Not sure what I did to make that happen. I had to clear […]

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:01+00:00 August 15th, 2017|Call Center, Customer Care|Comments Off on Amazon Connect – Building a Sample Call Center

Amazon Connect – Set Up and First Call

When I last wrote about Amazon Connect (here), I said that, on paper at least, it looked like it could be a practical option for at least some contact centers.

But, on paper is not the same as in practice. So, it’s time to get my hands dirty. Amazon makes this easy by allowing anyone to spin up an Amazon Connect instance to play with at no cost.

I met with my buddy Igal at a coffee […]

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:01+00:00 August 10th, 2017|Call Center, Customer Care|Comments Off on Amazon Connect – Set Up and First Call